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Miami Dolphins

The Aftermath: Dolphins 21 Jets 22

Travis Wingfield

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Snap Counts, Grades, Metrics, and Other Phins Notes

Foreword:

As we develop a weekly content schedule for the season, I wanted something to bridge the gap between the Sunday night game breakdown column and the Tuesday film review. So, here we are with a smorgasbord of information, statistics, snap counts, and whatever is prudent to the Dolphins game from the Sunday prior.

We’ll dive into the game data from Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, grab some quotes from the player’s and coach’s pressers, and continue to provide the most comprehensive coverage on the Miami Dolphins you can find.

Dolphins-Jets

Team Stats

The Dolphins and Jets played a game Sunday that held no relevance to the playoff standings. The contest was an afterthought to the casual fan and the non-Dolphins or Jets fan. It was a classic back burner December game between two bad teams. And, yet, Brian Flores was irate at the conclusion, and rightfully so.

The game ended on the decision to assess pass interference that would bail the Jets out of a fourth-and-forever (18) situation, and instantly transport Adam Gase and his hapless offense into field goal range.

As far as the long-term impact goes, this was best case scenario for Miami. Outplay the Jets, but lose the game on utter tomfoolery by the league’s greatest epidemic — it’s officials — and retain top-five draft pick status.

Close losses don’t count in this league, but the fact that this Miami roster is as close as it is to playing better than .500 football since September is one of the most impressive facts in all of football. A failed two-point conversion and a bogus call at the end of the Jets game are all that stand in the way between a 5-4 post-bye record for the Dolphins — an unimaginable feat after the 0-4 start with a point differential of -137.

Miami’s claim to fame, its red zone scoring percentage, took a hit Sunday. Going 0-for-5 in the critical portion of the field brought Miami’s season total down to 56.8% conversion rate — 16th in the NFL. The Dolphins 34.4% third down conversion rate ranks 26th in football.

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passing game averages 216.2 yards per game, 23rd in the NFL. The rushing attack, despite its best output, still ranks last at 67.3 yards per game. Now, at 17 points per, Miami ranks 30th in scoring offense.

The Dolphins held the Jets to less than a 50% drive success rate (5 of 11 drives scored points), including the pair of drives aided by questionable calls. The 22 points allowed was the lowest mark since the victory in Indianapolis a month ago.

Miami ranks 30th in total defense, 23rd in passing defense, 30th against the run and dead last in scoring at 30.7 points allowed per game.

The Dolphins are allowing 59.2% of red zone drives to end in touchdowns — 23rd lowest in the league. On third down, the opposition converts 43.9% of the time — 26th in football.

The Dolphins remain top 10 in missed tackle percentage. They’ve had the 6th-fewest penalty yardage assessed against them with the 5th-fewest penalties accepted.

Offense:

Snap Counts:

Player Snaps (% of Offensive Snaps)
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 72 (100%)
RB Patrick Laird 59 (82%)
RB Myles Gaskin 13 (18%)
FB Chandler Cox 7 (10%)
WR Allen Hurns 57 (79%)
WR Isaiah Ford 55 (76%)
WR Devante Parker 18 (25%)
WR Albert Wilson 17 (24%)
WR Mack Hollins 10 (14%)
TE Mike Gesicki 50 (69%)
TE Durham Smythe 41 (57%)
TE Clive Walford 33 (46%)
OL Julie’n Davenport 72 (100%)
OL Daniel Kilgore 72 (100%)
OL Evan Boehm 72 (100%)
OL Jesse Davis 72 (100%)
OL Keaton Sutherland 63 (88%)
OL Michael Deiter 9 (12%)

 

After his best statistical game of the season against Philadelphia, Ryan Fitzpatrick put together one of his worst against the Jets. Only one of several interceptable passes was picked off, his rating was 65.7 and he averaged less than seven yards per pass. Fitzpatrick completed 40% of his passes against pressure for a paltry for 5.1 YPA.

A lot of the issues stemmed from the skill positions, particularly wide receiver. Isaiah Ford had the best day of the bunch posting 92 yards on nine targets (better than 10 YPT). Ford averaged 5.5 yards after the catch on the day.

Devante Parker caught both of his targets for 28 yards but left early with a concussion.

Mike Gesicki only caught 25% of his targets for 1.5 YPT. To his credit, one of those misses was an inaccurate throw as Gesicki uncovered in the end zone.

Allen Hurns continues to contribute on a familiar plane. He picked up 68 yards on seven targets and moved the chains three times. Since he signed his extension (four games), Hurns has 196 yards on 25 targets, good for a 7.84 YPT.

Most of Patrick Laird’s damage came off-tackle. His two long runs (16 and 14) were both outside runs, including 12 yards after contact on a run off left-tackle. Of Laird’s 44 rushing yards, 34 came outside. He averaged 2.21 yards after contact and caught all four of his targets for 38 yards.

Julie’n Davenport had his best game as a pro Sunday. He pitched a shutout in pass protection, but graded deep in the “F” category against the run.

The most pressures came from up the gut. Daniel Kilgore led the way with five, but they were all hurries. Keaton Sutherland was next with four, but just one hit on the quarterback. Right Guard Evan Boehm had a tough reentrance back into the lineup. His three pressures were all hits on Fitzpatrick.

Jesse Davis allowed one pressure (a hit) on top of what I thought was one of his best run-blocking games at right tackle.

Defense:

Snap Counts:

Player Snaps (% of Defensive Snaps)
DL Christian Wilkins 48 (68%)
DL Davon Godchaux 37 (52%)
DL Avery Moss 24 (34%)
DL John Jenkins 21 (30%)
DL Gerald Willis 11 (15%)
LB Jerome Baker 71 (100%)
LB Vince Biegel 59 (83%)
LB Raekwon McMillan 46 (65%)
LB Andrew Van Ginkel 35 (49%)
LB Sam Eguavoen 33 (46%)
LB Charles Harris 24 (34%)
DB Nik Needham 71 (100%)
DB Eric Rowe 71 (100%)
DB Adrian Colbert 71 (100%)
DB Jomal Wiltz 61 (86%)
DB Ryan Lewis 44 (62%)
DB Ken Webster 29 (41%)
DB Steven Parker 25 (35%)

 

Steven Parker led the way in PFF grades this week with an elite 90 score. I’m curious to know how his fatal decision on the final drive reflects that grade, because that was an atrocious play that gave the Jets 37 yards on the game’s most critical possession.

Christian Wilkins was next. He had four more pressures and three run stops earning “green” grades across the board.

Adrian Colbert had his best game, according to PFF, since joining the team. He didn’t allow a reception in his deep safety position, made one tackle and missed another.

Raekwon McMillan only made three tackles, but they were all run stops. His effectiveness was measured by attacking lead blocks and leading Miami to its best day stopping the run all season.

Davon Godchaux had a pressure and two run stops as his strong season continues. Gerald Willis picked up two QB pressures (both hurries) on just seven pass rushing reps.

Vince Biegel picked up two pressures and three run stops. He didn’t allow a reception in six coverage reps, to boot.

Nik Needham surrendered 54 yards on 3-of-6 passing (should have been 2-of-6 if not for the poor call on the TD reversal, which also would’ve taken the yardage total down to 28 yards). He made six tackles and two for run stops.

Eric Rowe allowed just 2-of-4 completions for 16 yards. He also made 10 total tackles (1 missed) and four of those for run-stops. He shut out the Jets tight ends to further bolster his impressive numbers covering the position that plagued Miami’s defense for a decade.

The Final Three Weeks and the Draft Implications

If Sam Ficken’s field goal would’ve sailed wide, Miami would’ve lost four position in the draft order. Now, with three games left to play, the Dolphins figure to land somewhere between fourth and eighth ahead of next April’s all-important draft.

This only matters if Tua Tagovailoa enters the draft and Miami intends to select the Alabama product. Otherwise, quarterback is not the play with the first pick. Keeping those options open would be nice, and staying ahead of teams like Detroit, Arizona, Jacksonville and Atlanta increases Miami’s flexibility.

Aside from QB-needy teams taking Tua ahead of Miami, the likelihood of a trade-up increases with each spot Miami falls. Tracking those teams — the four immediately behind Miami — is the new out-of-town scoreboard watching Dolphins fans will endure the next three weeks (trust me, I’m getting tired of this fan experience too).

If the Dolphins land in behind Cincinnati, Washington and the Giants, it stands to reason they will get a crack at Tagovailoa. Joe Burrow, Chase Young and Jerry Jeudy/Ceedee Lamb would make a lot of sense to come off the board in those spots, especially given the undeniable talent of the former two, and the Giants resistance towards trading down (or perhaps they just take the best ‘hog-molly’ available, you never know with a G.M. who decided Daniel Jones was the best they could between the 2018-2020 drafts).

The Lions, in all likelihood, are without Matthew Stafford (we’ll discuss his potential move from Detroit and the fit with Miami on today’s podcast) for the rest of the year. They’ll finish with home games dates against Green Bay and Tampa Bay sandwiched outside of a road date in Denver.

The Cardinals, with a slowed Kyler Murray (hamstring), are home for the Browns Sunday before road dates in Seattle and Los Angeles (Rams).

Jacksonville probably isn’t winning any of their final three, they’ve been the worst team in football since their bye week. They’ll finish up with games in Oakland and Atlanta before finishing at home with the Colts.

Atlanta is probably clear of danger with regards to jumping Miami in the draft. They finish up at San Francisco, then home for Jacksonville and at Tampa Bay to end the season.

Miami could be favored to win the next two weeks, and if they meet expectations and win those games, a 5-11 finish most likely keeps Miami inside the top 10 of the draft.

Two wins equals the seventh pick in the draft — projected, of course. One victory likely means picking 5th or 6th, and no wins will result in a position in the top three. A third win over New England almost certainly takes Miami out of the top 10 altogether.

Root accordingly.

@WingfieldNFL

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Daniel Meehan

    December 10, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Travis, I’ve followed you all year and probably wouldn’t have made it through season without your daily reports. I want to thank you for the service you provide. However, I say no to Stafford. This makes no sense. I want a QB who plays here for over a decade.

    • Avatar

      Papapickett

      December 12, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      Agreed. Best thing about this season is these articles. I cant waste my Sunday watching these games rooting against my team.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins meeting with Jordan Love at the Senior Bowl

Shawn Digity

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Jordan Love Miami Dolphins interest
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

Mobile, Alabama (Locked On Dolphins) – Senior Bowl week is underway, and Tuesday set into motion the first practice.

The Senior Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, January 25, at 1:30 p.m. Central Time.

Tuesday featured weigh-ins and measurements, and as per usual, the quarterback hand sizes became a viral trend on twitter.

As it relates to the headline, Jordan Love’s hands were measured at 10 5/8 inches, which was the biggest of all the quarterbacks.

It might not necessarily matter since coaches and analysts can go either way on a prospect’s hand size. But it could matter for someone who was already on the fence about Jordan Love.

It could’ve been the dealbreaker, too, for those who were already on the fence.

I mention the conflicting perspectives on hand sizes because it’s a perfect segue into the controversy and questions surrounding Jordan Love’s draft stock and pro prospects.

Now here’s the kicker.

The polarizing quarterback from Utah State will be meeting with the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl, per Joe Schad.

Hand sizes aside, it’s certainly worth noting that the Dolphins want to meet with Love.

It’s almost a certainty that the Dolphins want to and will address the quarterback position in the 2020 Draft, and Love offers a lot of desired characteristics for the job.

And there’s already been interest before from the Miami Dolphins, according to Tony Pauline.

Pauline has stated that the team was intrigued by the Aggie quarterback after his breakout 2018 season.

While Jordan Love’s 2019 season was tumultuous, to say the least, the moldable potential as a pro is evident.

Jordan Love is a likely draft riser now that the 2019 season is behind him. A good showing during the practices and the Senior Bowl will further help his cause, but Love is already looking at being selected in the teens or 20s.

The meeting, it’s fuel on the fire. In preparation for a scenario where the Dolphins cannot or do not get Tua Tagovailoa, the team could be exercising their due diligence to formulate a Plan B in that event.

It never hurts to be overprepared.

The content and reasoning of the meeting itself will remain surreptitious but will invite hypotheses regarding a Miami Dolphins-Jordan Love marriage.

Could he be the face of the franchise?

Is he the next Patrick Mahomes?

Can he make it as a pro?

Sure, there’s uncertainty with drafting Love, but the thing is, the connection makes sense. There’s a lot to like about Jordan Love, but he needs breathing room going into the NFL. The Miami Dolphins can offer him that, which would be favorable for his development.

It’s a good fit. And the logic is there.

It’s worth keeping tabs on Jordan Love’s draft journey, and we’ll see what unfolds from the meeting, if anything.

There’s a real shot that Jordan Love is the Miami Dolphins guy moving into 2020 and beyond. The meeting could be the first step in that process…

Or maybe they just want to talk about his hand size.

 

 

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Senior Bowl 2020 Preview Through Miami Dolphins Lens – Defense

Travis Wingfield

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Best Dolphins scheme fits, and the price to acquire said players, taking the field this week at the Senior Bowl

By the time the popcorn is popped, the ball is teed up, and the fans have filed into the Ladd-Pebble’s stadium, most of the scouts, evaluators and decision makers have vacated Mobile, Alabama, the home of the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

It’s not that the game is devoid of value; it just pales in comparison to the value of the entire week of practices. Simulated situations pit college football’s best players against one-another in true tests of their abilities.

Change-of-direction, clean mechanics, competitiveness, all of these important traits are readily apparent in the padded practices that occur from Tuesday through Thursday in front of everyone who is anyone in the National Football League.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to prospect evaluation. Even after a nine-month process that begins at summer camp for area scouts, the best-drafting teams in the NFL still only hit on roughly half of their picks. But if there were a way to expedite the process of rifling through the hundreds of draft-eligible players, these practices are it.

We get a first-hand look at how players fare against elite college competition, repeatedly. Game-speed is on display. Lateral agility and movement skills are tested. The bounce back from a bad rep and jumping right back into the fire gives us insight on how players respond to adversity in short order. The clues we find in Mobile sends us back to the tape to re-evaluate our boards, and ultimately spit our final rankings and evaluations.

In case you’re new to Locked On Dolphins, this is how we covered the Senior Bowl last January.

Since everything we do is Dolphins specific, we’re looking at scheme fits. We’ll track which players the Dolphins meet with, and who impresses the most at the biggest positions of need.

In addition to projecting best possible scheme fits, we’ll factor in draft value when selecting the best possible player from each group for your Miami Dolphins. For instance, neither Justin Herbert or Jordan Love will be the top QB selected simply because of their high-end first-round draft status. If Miami selects Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick, Herbet and Love are off the board entirely.

It’s one of my personal favorite weeks of the year, so let’s get into part-two, the defense.

Offensive Preview

Senior Bowl Defense

The defensive side of the ball is loaded this week in Mobile. Gap-control rushers, interior pocket collapsers, on-and-off-ball linebackers and a secondary chock full of ball hawks, there are multiple future Dolphins in this group.

By now, we know that Miami are one of three teams in the league — four now with Joe Judge at the top of a program — that shops from an exclusive store. Bigger, stronger edge players that make up for a lack of athleticism with brute power and gap integrity. Versatile defensive backs that must excel in man coverage. Linebackers that can rush the quarterback from a variety of positions. These are the core tenants of the Patriots, Lions, and Dolphins defense, and perhaps the Giants under new management with Patrick Graham.

It’ll be impossible to highlight just a couple of players, so unlike the offensive side, we’ll discuss multiple players at each spot. As always, we’ll have even more detail on the Locked On Dolphins Podcast.

Defensive Line

Bradlee Anae (UTAH), Darrion Daniels (NEB), Marlon Davidson (AUB), Raekwon Davis (ALA), Leki Fotu (UTAH), Neville Gallimore (OK), Trevis Gipson (TULS), Jonathan Greenard (FLA), Davon Hamilton (OSU), Trevon Hill (MIA), Benito Jones (MISS), Javon Kinlaw (SC), Larrell Murchison (NCST), Alton Robinson (SYR), Jason Strowbridge (UNC), Kenny Willekes (MSU), Robert Windsor (PSU), Jabari Zuniga (FLA)

Best Fins Fit — Bradlee Anae, Utah

Anae is a 6-foot-3, 260-plus-pound edge that Miami will covet in this year’s draft. He’s a refined rusher with multiple moves in the arsenal, and the ability to angle inside as a rusher to expand the stunt game on the defensive line.

He’s not the most athletic rusher, but that’s not part of the prerequisites of playing edge in this scheme. New England never valued athleticism at end, and I don’t suspect Brian Flores will either. Dig-out or kick-out blocks are often a futile effort against Anae because of his long arms and ability to disengage quickly.

Projected Required Investment — Mid-Round Pick, Rounds 3-4

Where He Fits on the Roster — Starting Base 5-Tech, Kick Inside in Nickle Rush Packages

Hardly a far cry from former Patriot, current Lion, and once a Near-Dolphin Trey Flowers, Anae is a power run defender that can redirect as a pass rusher on his way to stopping the ground game.

The moment the card is turned in, Anae becomes the best base defensive end on the team. While that’s an indictment of Miami’s roster, it’s also a testament to Anae’s skill set. He provides the versatility to kick inside on long yardage situations.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Pit Drill

This will be an area to either showcase Anae’s impressive heavy hands, or an opportunity to expose his limited athleticism. Again, the Dolphins don’t care much about the latter, and typically it’s the players with better moves in their arsenal that win in this drill.

Keep an Eye On — Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina

Something of a tweener for the rest of the league, Strowbridge fits right in at home in Miami. He entered college as a 245-pound end, and now he’s nearing three bills on the scale. Accordingly, Strowbridge has some explosion and wiggle that is unique to a player of his size.

He won’t be a base defensive tackle, but he is more than capable of fulfilling the 4-tech spot in bear fronts, or play the play-side 3-tech in even fronts. Leki Fotu is a Danny Shelton clone and Neville Gallimore and Javon Kinlaw are explosive, powerful interior rush presences, but will likely require a first-round selection. Strowbridge is a day-three player.

Linebackers

Zack Baun (WIS), Francis Bernard (UTAH), Jordyn Brooks (TT), Cameron Brown (PSU), Carter Coughlin (MIN), Akeem Davis-Gaither (APP), Troy Dye (ORE), Malik Harrison (OSU), Khaleke Hudson (MICH), Anfernee Jennings (ALA), Terrell Lewis (ALA), Kamal Martin (MIN), Davion Taylor (COL), Darrell Taylor (TEN), Josh Uche (MICH), Evan Weaver (CAL), Logan Wilson (WYO), D.J. Wonnum (SC)

Best Fins Fit — Zack Baun, Wisconsin

Baun, just like Vince Biegel and Andrew Van Ginkel before him, has the same traits that attracted Miami to the pair of Badger ‘Backers. Baun is the best of the three. He’s especially adept at executing games (stunts, twists, slants) because of his lateral agility.

He’s not the most fluid edge rusher, and isn’t going to line up in the wide alignment and win the corner, but he’s effective defending the pass as a flat and hook zone dropper. His rush move arsenal is already refined like that of a seasoned pro.

Projected Required Investment — Late-First, Early-Second, Pick 26 or 39

Where He Fits on the Roster — Starting On-Ball Linebacker

Biegel almost never left the field last season upon showing his worth across a variety of formations. Baun could do the same and give Miami a pair of consistent Badger backers off either edge, in what could be a linebacker-driven front-seven this year. Drafting Baun would certainly suggest that to be the case, with Van Ginkel serving as the sixth-man — so to speak — first off the bench.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Pit Drill

My apologies for a lack of variety between these trench players, but nothing beats the pit drill; nothing. This is an area Baun will probably excel because he’s such a refined technician, and he’ll draw some smaller school players and athletes that aren’t great football players just yet.

Keep an Eye On — Anfernee Jennings, Alabama

Jennings has the requisite measurements to intrigue the Dolphins before even flipping on the film. Then, once you see him play, you see him actively engage those long arms and thick frame to bully the man across from him. He’s extremely stout against the run with the heavy hands to shed blockers en route to the tackler.

Cal’s Evan Weaver lacks speed and rush ability, but he’s the most reliable downhill run defender in the entire draft. Joshua Uche has some versatility to his game. He played for current Dolphins Linebackers Coach Anthony Campanile in college.

Defensive Backs

Damon Arnette (OSU), Essang Bassey (WAKE), Julian Blackmon (UTAH), Antoine Brooks Jr. (MAR), Terrell Burgess (UTAH), Jeremy Chinn (SoILL), Brian Cole (MISS ST), Ashtyn Davis (CAL), Kyle Duggar (Lenoir-Rhyne), Jalen Elliot (ND), Kristian Fulton (LSU), Alohi Gilman (ND), A.J. Green (OKST), Darnay Holmes (UCLA), Lamar Jackson (NEB), Dane Jackson (PITT), Brandon Jones (TEX), Jared Mayden (ALA), Josh Metellus (MICH), Michael Ojemudia (IOWA), Troy Pride Jr. (ND), Reggie Robinson (TULS), Kindle Vildor (GEO SO), K’Von Wallace (CLEM)

Best Fins Fit — Ashtyn Davis

There are a few defensive backs in this class that match the prototype for what Brian Flores looks for, and Davis is certainly that, but he has one thing most of the other guys don’t. The sheer passion and love for playing the game the correct way. Not to say the others don’t, but Davis is a temperature changer that immediately improves the work environment around him.

Davis is a former track star, so when he tests in Indianapolis, it’s possible he elevates his stock into the first round. Hopefully that’s not the case, and Miami can pick up a round-two steal with this do-it-all safety. He can play the single-high role, cover in the slot, and is more than willing to hit somebody much larger than himself.

Projected Required Investment — Day 2, Pick 39

Where He Fits on the Roster — Starting Free Safety, Slot Corner

Davis‘ best trait is the paired combination of instincts and range. Because of that, he fits Miami’s press-man, single-high defense as well as anybody. He can also come down and cover the slot with the best of them — just the ideal defensive back for Brian Flores.

Area of Intrigue This Week — Live Team Period

Tackling hasn’t been the best trait for Davis in his collegiate career. It’s not that he’s not willing, he just lacks the size and frame to do it consistently. I want to see how he wraps and finishes in the live team periods when he has to come down and make a stick.

Keep an Eye On — Damon Arnette, Ohio State

Overlooked because of the presence of Jeff Okudah and Shaun Wade in that Buckeye defensive backfield, Arnette took considerable strides this season in Columbus. He’s a long, aggressive press-corner that plays the ball exceptionally well.

Arnette will challenge every route at the three critical points — off the line, at the top of the stem, and at the catch point. He’s a sound tackler, but isn’t real interested in fighting off blocks. He’s more athletic than most players with his play-style which should bump his draft stock.

Utah’s Terrell Burgess is a good option in the middle rounds to play primary backup to Eric Rowe, and also serve as a core special teamer.

It would be quite a surprise if multiple players from this group don’t wind up with the Dolphins. There are so many potential scheme fits, and players that come from programs that stress the same core tenants that Miami’s system calls for. With all these Utah Utes, all these versatile defensive backs and multi-talented front-seven players, this is quite a week for Brian Flores and company.

@WingfieldNFL

Wednesday-Friday — Senior Bowl Practice Recaps

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Kevin’s Senior Bowl Defensive Brain Dump

Kevin Dern

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As we head into Senior Bowl week, I just wanted to do a quick brain dump on some of the prospects I’m most interested to see on defense this week at the Senior Bowl.  One of my favorite prospects, Notre Dame DE Khalid Kareem, appears to have dropped out of the Senior Bowl for some reason (I’m looking into that, but if anyone knows, please comment below).  To keep this simple, I’m just going to go DLs, LBs and DBs with quick notes on the guys I like.

Quick Glossary of Dolphins positions:

Big DE – bigger guy, usually 6’3”+ and 270lbs+ with 34”+ arms.  Usually plays some 4, 4i, 5 and 6 techniques, with the ability to reduce inside on passing downs.

Rush DE – think Trey Flowers.  Plays wider, usually 5, 6, 7, 9, and 8 (head up on a dual TE, pretty rare). 

Off-Ball LB – a LB that’s usually playing off the line of scrimmage.  Think Jerome Baker and Sam Eguavoen.

On-Ball LB – a LB who is playing the edges, akin to a 3-4 OLB, but may be playing in a 4-man line.  Think Vince Biegel and, especially late in the season, Andrew Van Ginkel. 

Safety Position – Miami breaks their safeties into three categories:  MOF (Middle of the Field – a deep FS), split safety (someone who can play ½ field in tandem with the FS), and box safety (think Patrick Chung for New England or Tavon Wilson for Detroit.  For Miami it was mostly Reshad Jones and Eric Rowe in this role in 2019). 

DL Prospects

DE – Jason Strowbridge – N. Carolina – Really excited to see him play in Mobile.  Was a 3-tech DT for the Tar Heels at 6’5” 285lbs.  Has length Miami will covet, experience playing inside.  Flashes some explosion in pursuit.  Plays well down the line (horizontally) against the run.  Violent hands.  Miami will like that.   Fits with the Dolphins as a

DT Javon Kinlaw – South Carolina – Long and explosive.  Can play anywhere on interior and may be able to play some Big DE in Miami’s scheme.  Wins with length and speed more than physicality; will have to be more consistent with leverage and pad level at NFL level.

DT DaVon Hamilton – Ohio State – Solid all around.  Physical, hustles, uses his hands.  Was part of a heavy rotation at Ohio State with Rob Landers, Jashon Cornell, Haskell Garrett, and Tommy Togiai.  Probably more set for a true 4-3 defense, but a solid player you can get in the mid-rounds.  For Miami, he’d likely fit as a backup to Christian Wilkins – someone who can play 2i, 2, 3, 4, 4i techniques.

Really Intrigued:  Marlon Davidson – Auburn – Was more hybrid 3-4 DE/stand-up edge player at Auburn.  Has good size.  Will be interesting to see how he plays as a DE in the game.  Would be a Big DE for Miami.

Want to see more of:  Leki Fotu – Utah – Got manhandled by Oregon in the Pac-12 Title Game.  Thought he was an intriguing prospect for a NT spot in Miami’s defense, but after that game…Yikes.  Can he rebound? Has some potential to play other techniques aside from a pure NT.  Is he strong enough at the NFL Level?

Others  I like:

Bradlee Anae – Utah – Rush DE from Utah who seems to fit the parameters, but just isn’t quite there for me. I want to see how he holds up against this level of competition.  Did well until he ran into Penei Sewell of Oregon.  Did notch some wins against USC’s Austin Jackson.

Jonathan Greenard – Florida – Another Rush DE candidate who had a fantastic season.  Had a tremendous season for the Gators and has solid size for what Miami will likely look for.  Does he have an arsenal of pass-rush moves or is he too reliant on speed-rush?

Darrell Taylor of Tennessee, Josh Uche of Michigan, and Alton Robinson of Syracuse also bear watching.  The first two might be more OLB candidates for Miami.  Robinson had a lot of hype heading into 2019 but didn’t have the best season with 2.5 of his 4.5 sacks coming against Liberty and Western Michigan.

LB Prospects

Malik Harrison – Ohio State – Just a good, smart, physical football player.  Can he play on the ball? Probably a little bit light for what Miami wants in someone who can play the off-ball and on-ball LB spot, but he’s so good.  Secure tackler.  Delivers pop when he squares up.  For Miami, if he can bulk up a bit and still retain his speed, he’s got a chance to play that off-ball ILB and on-ball OLB hybrid role, like Kyle Van Noy.  Guys like Biegel and Van Ginkel are pretty strictly on-ball guys, who fit the hybrid OLB/rush DE role for Miami.

Evan Weaver – California – Strictly a MLB in Miami’s system, but he may be more dynamic there than Raekwon McMillan; creates a logjam there if you take him though.  Can play in coverage, good tackler, deceptive quickness.

Really Intrigued:  Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis are both listed as ILBs for the Senior Bowl; not OLBs or edge players, which is what I think they’d be better suited for in the NFL and with Miami.  Is this a real thing?

Want to see more of:  Logan Wilson – Wyoming – Evan Weaver heavy.  Wilson isn’t as polished as even Weaver, but he’s got good size and moves will for it.  I’ve only seen one Wyoming game, so I myself want to watch Wilson this week.

Others I Like: 

Carter Coughlin – Minnesota – He’s listed as a DE for the Senior Bowl, but for Miami’s purposes, they’d likely view him as another OLB/DE hybrid.  Not that they need another at this point with Biegel and Van Ginkel, but it’s worth doing the due diligence on Coughlin.

DB Prospects

Damon Arnette – Ohio State – One of the few CBs I’ve seen multiple times and paid attention to.  He was the starter opposite Jeff Okudah and had a nice season.  He’s physical and is an excellent tackler for a corner.  Had to play with his hand/wrist in a cast for a chunk of the season and became a bit grabby, much like current Dolphin Xavien Howard when he was at Baylor.  With Arnette, as it relates to Miami, I think the tape is fine, but it may come down to the physical measurements.  Namely, does he have the long speed to play a lot of man coverage?

Dane Jackson – Pittsburgh – It seems like every year there’s a dirty, grimy football player from Pitt that just tends to stick in the league.  I thought Dwayne Hendrix had a chance for Miami last year, but he ended up with the Ravens after being on the practice squad.  Dane Jackson is another kid I can see Miami taking a liking to.  Though, like Arnette, I’m concerned if the speed is there or not.

Antoine Brooks Jr. – Maryland – I noticed him when the Terps got thumped by Ohio State.  He’s big, 5’11” 215lbs, and plays slot, SS and split safety.  I think his best position is probably playing in the Patrick Chung/Tavon Wilson role, if Miami is convinced, they can play Eric Rowe as a split safety when required.  Clicks & Closes quickly, like Reshad Jones.  Good tackler in space.  Physical.  67 solo tackles in 2019.  Displays good closing speed (watch the play against Penn State).  For the Dolphins, he’s on my short list of guys who can pay the Chung/Wilson role.  While he’s not in Mobile, keep an eye on SMU’s Patrick Nelson.  Hat tip to Chris Kouffman for turning me onto Nelson.

Alohi Gilman – Notre Dame – Antoine Brooks lite.  Better coverage player, but not as dynamic close to the LOS.  Good tackler who makes plays on the ball.  3 FFs in 2019, 6 total in his career at Notre Dame (3 years of playing time).  58 solo tackles in 2018 (better team defense).  Interested to see if he’s more of a slot player or can play SS in the NFL.  Versatility is something Miami will like.

Intrigued:  Kyle Dugger – Lenoir-Rhyne – Division II player at the Senior Bowl.  I know Jim Nagy really likes him.  Intrigued to see his size on display.  6’2” 220lbs.

Want to see more of:  All the CBs.  Other than Jeff Okudah, Damon Arnette and A.J. Terrell, I haven’t watched many corners throughout the year.  Curious to see if any stand out.

Others I Like:

Ashtyn Davis – California – I know Travis has, or is very likely to, talk about him a lot this week.  He’s one of the few ideal candidates in this year’s draft of the MOF FS spot in Miami’s defense.  They may be comfortable with Bobby McCain for that role, but in my eyes, moving McCain back to the slot and tabbing a guy like Davis would improve the secondary as a whole.

I also think it’s funny that we’ll see corners named Lamar Jackson and A.J. Green in Mobile this week.

Final Word

If I’m pressed into picking five names I think Miami will really like from this year’s Senior Bowl, I’d probably stack them as:

1) Ashtyn Davis – FS – California

2) Malik Harrison – LB – Ohio State

3) Jason Strowbridge – DE – North Carolina

4) Damon Arnette – CB – Ohio State

5) Evan Weaver – LB – California

I left off several guys like Darrell Taylor, Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings.  They’re all guys Miami will like, but with Biegel and Van Ginkel in the fold, are they really going to be that interested? Especially with a guy like Yannick Ngakoue lurking in free agency, who he himself has already teased some things about Miami and Jason Taylor on his Twitter timeline? Yeah, give me Ngakoue there.

As for my guy, Antoine Brooks Jr., I think he’d be a really nice fit for Miami.  But with Eric Rowe’s capability, I have to wonder whether or not they’d look at someone in that role or tend to focus on guys who can play FS and be able to play in split safety looks.  There’s also some intriguing names out there in free agency like Justin Simmons and Von Bell to watch out for.

It’ll be a fun week to watch, and feel free to @ me at @KevinMD4 if you have any questions about these guys.

 

 

 

 

 

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